If I were asked why I wear my hair long then I would have to say it's because I love long hair. I've tried short hair and it just doesn't feel 'right' - it's not 'me'. Recently on two long hair forums that I visit the question was raised: Long hair: Religious or personal reasons?
The answers once again caused me to reflect on my long hair journey.
I penned these words when I started my long hair journey over two years ago: I think long hair is a blessing. Down throughout the ages – almost without exception – women have worn their hair long. In the Bible the apostle Paul described long hair as a woman’s ‘crowning glory’. And I still remember the time a friend referred to mine the same way. Even now it still makes me glow!
I believe it is a privilege – a God-given privilege – for a woman to be able to wear her hair long. I’m not saying that every woman can or should have long hair, just that it is a special gift that God has given to women. My goal now is to learn to love my hair at whatever stage it’s at and to see it truly become ‘a crowning glory’.
Since that time I've reflected on what God says about our hair. Not surprisingly the time came when I was troubled by the use of head coverings in 1 Corinthians 11: 5-7, 10, 13-15:
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. ... For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. ... Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
I've discovered that there seems to be several different camps of interpretation:
Camp One: Those that believe this was a purely cultural phenomenon and is no longer applicable to our time;
Camp Two: Those that believe that women's hair is the covering and should not be cut - not even trimmed;
Camp Three: Those that believe that women should wear headcoverings during times of public prayer and worship; and
Camp Four: Those that believe it's a principle that needs to be adapted to our time and culture.
I have friends in several different camps but after searching and praying I've arrived at Camp Four. This article helped me clarify some of the issues I was working through.
It's taken me a long time to get to this point. It would have been difficult for me to be different (I'm already different enough as it is) but I would have done it had I felt convicted. But I also know my heart and I was afraid that had I changed some aspect of my outward appearance that there would have come a time when I would be tempted to 'holier than thou' thoughts. It's too easy - for me at least - to be critical in my thinking. I didn't want to wear a headcovering and then end up feeling proud.
Several years ago I would never have considered wearing a headcovering. It wasn't standard practice in our church. It was old-fashioned or legalistic (or at least I thought so). Then God caused me to question the way I skipped over theses verses without really thinking about them. What exactly did they mean?
My understanding of these verses is likely not finished yet. This is a journey God has led me on and this is where He has brought me to so far. I know that some of my readers won't agree with what I've written. It's not my intention to offend anyone. I'm willing to admit that I may not be right. I know I don't have all the answers. But I know too that if I keep an open heart then God can reveal His truth to me in His time.